Shamarious Gilmore riding the wave of Shawn Elliott’s Panthers in his senior season

Senior offensive lineman, Shamarious Gilmore, has been a significant contributor to the team’s success early in the Shawn Elliott era. Photo by Matt Siciliano-Salazar | The Signal

The offensive line is the heart and soul of the Panthers offense.

Senior guard Shamarious Gilmore has been a significant contributor to the team’s success early in the Shawn Elliott era. A redshirt senior, Gilmore’s voice remains one of the strongest on the team as a leader both on and off the field for the offense. 

“We have a great group of guys here,” Gilmore said. “We’ve had some hiccups along the way, but I think we have a good team.”

Throughout his three seasons at Georgia State, 2020 takes home the award for most challenging.

Freshman quarterback Mikele Colasurdo tested positive for COVID-19 two weeks ago and was feared to have a heart condition.  

When Georgia State announced the postponement of the game against the Charlotte 49ers due to the positive coronavirus test on a Friday afternoon, many feared a possible outbreak among the team.

Gilmore and the Panthers were boarding the bus for the near four-hour bus ride to Jerry Richardson Stadium when they learned their results. 

“I was shocked,” Gilmore said. “We were all ready to go, and it happened so fast that we weren’t playing.” 

A day later, around the time kickoff would have happened, the Georgia State Athletics Department announced that those tests were false positives due to human error.  

Georgia State has not announced a new date for their game against the 49ers.

It was a blow for the team following a week that built up confidence after taking the No. 19 Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns to overtime in week one. The cancellation killed potential momentum, but Gilmore understands that he must keep his head up high. 

“It’s disappointing, but you can’t dwell on the past,” Gilmore said. “We have to keep focused for the games we play next.”

Gilmore used to block for Dan Ellington. Now, Ellington is on the sidelines, coaching the new face of the Panthers offense, redshirt freshman quarterback Cornelius “Quad” Brown. Brown was named the starting quarterback before week one, which put more pressure on Gilmore to keep his quarterback’s jersey clean. 

The new change under center also created a unique bonding experience between the offensive line with the senior and newbie in the backfield.

“We’ve definitely grown closer as a team,” Gilmore said. “[Brown] has been great, and we’ve gotten a better relationship on the offensive side of the ball.”

The team put that relationship to the test in week one against the Ragin Cajuns, and they passed the test. Gilmore and the offensive line kept their young quarterback upright for most of the game. Gilmore’s outstanding play and the line nearly propelled the Panthers to their first win against a nationally-ranked opponent in program history.

“There was a lot of good to take away from that game,” Gilmore said. “We took them to OT and showed [Louisiana] that we’re not pushovers.” 

Gilmore and the line are also the key contributors to the Panthers rushing attack, ranked ninth in rushing yards per game. Even with the departure of Tra Barnett, the offensive line creates giant openings for the new-look running game now led by Destin Coates. 

Each year, Gilmore continues to improve, not only becoming a regular starter but a leader on the gridiron. As the Panthers navigate the unpredictability of 2020, expect Gilmore to be the constant source of the team’s consistency.